by John L., March 17, 2008 12:19 PM
In the editor's preface, Peter Davis writes:
When I was studying for my MFA I was required to read 25 books, of my choosing, per semester. Once, I asked one of my professors to give me some suggestions and she gave me a list of 30 or so writers that she thought I should read. I didn't know if these were writers that were personally important to her, or if they were simply writers she thought might become important to me, but, either way, I thought it was a great list. Soon after, I got the idea for this book and began asking leading contemporary poets to respond to these prompts:
- Please list 5?10 books that have been most "essential" to you, as a poet.
- Please write some comments about your list. You may want to single out specific poems or passages from the books, discuss how you made your decisions or provide thoughts about the importance of these books in your life. Feel free to write as much as you would like.
The result is a fascinating list not only because of the way each of the 86 poets responded to the request but also because of the incredible diversity of the works cited. A unique anthology for anyone curious about the art of poetry.